Click above to watch the
Zenyatta Clement L Hirsch Stakes Kick
(Footage : YouTube)
The world is abuzz with the Zenyatta / Rachel Alexandra debate, so we thought it apt to re-live that “9 August Del Mar Day” when Zenyatta,the undefeated daughter of Street Cry, Sire Sensation Son of Machiavellian, tested hearts and pacemakers alike with a formidable display of an insurmountable kick timed to nano-perfection… even if bordering on indulgent.
The Thoroughbred Daily News reported :
The magnificent dark bay mare took up her usual position at the back of the seven horse field, well off the dawdling pace set by longshot Lethal Heat (Unusual Heat). Zenyatta was still last after six furlongs in 1:13.64 and fans who came to see the champ roll to a 12th straight win began to think jockey Mike Smith had left Zenyatta too much to do in the 1 1/16-mile race. But the mare closed with monster strides on the far outside and just got her nose in front of 22-1 outsider Anabaa’s Creation (Ire) (Anabaa) on the wire in a final time of 1:43.24.
The last time another rival finished that close to Zenyatta was the half-length between her and Tough Tiz’s Sis (Tiznow) in last year’s GI Vanity Handicap “I thought I had it,” Smith said after the photo was developed. “But I’ve got to admit I underestimated the company we were keeping today. They made her run.”
Trainer John Shirreffs admitted to a few anxious moments as he watched his star fight to the wire. “It was very, very close down there,” Shirreffs said. “All the way down the stretch I’m hollering, Get em, Get em. What I really liked about her race is that she had a lot of ground to make up and she put her head down and kept making it up. She never picked her head up. She kept reaching out and running for the wire. That’s Zenyatta.”
Zenyatta captured last year’s Clement Hirsch by one length in track-record time of 1:41.48. Named champion older mare last season after a seven-for-seven campaign that included wins in the GI Apple Blossom Handicap, GI Vanity Handicap, GI Lady’s Secret Stakes and GI Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, Zenyatta is now three-for-three this term. She began the year with a 1 3/4-length victory in the May 23 GII Milady Handicap and added a 2 1/2-length score in the June 27 GI Vanity Handicap last time out.
According to Trakus calculations, Zenyatta ran her last quarter mile in 22.49 sec and reached her maximum speed of 40 mph at the wire.